Season Four was so weak overall that it's been great to see the series rebound with interesting tales of consequence both for The Clone Wars and for the broader Star Wars saga. Season Five belongs to Ahsoka Tano. The season's two best arcs - the Onderon civil war arc and the season's final stretch - both focus on the Padawan. There are down turns here and there, including an unfortunate four-part droid story arc and the full-on return of Darth Maul. In fairness, while I'm not a fan of Maul's resurrection in principle, his story arc is actually pretty good.
Favorite Episode: "The Wrong Jedi"
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Ahsoka goes through a lot in Season Five. First, she gets caught up in the civil war on Onderon where she comes perilously close to falling for Lux Bonteri. More importantly, she gets a taste of the broader struggle on her own terms, away from Anakin and the Jedi Council. In the season's final arc, she is exiled from the Order, then invited back when cleared of her alleged crimes. Her decision to leave anyway is downright shocking, an axiom-challenging twist worthy of a franchise that once turned the villain into the hero's father. As we have seen in the Star Wars story, anyone abandoning the Jedi Way is dangerous, if not galactically catastrophic. And yet as the viewer, it's not difficult to see her choice as justified. This isn't just the strongest episode of the season. It's a strong challenger for best of the entire series.
I love the droids but I hate the droid stories. What madness led those in charge to believe that a four-part arc led by the droids would be a good idea? "A Sunny Day in the Void" is the worst of the four because it has the robots getting lost in a flat, empty desert - not even the elegant, rolling, Tunisian dunes we get on Tatooine. This is Utah Salt Flats emptiness without the mountains in the background. Just awful.
Favorite New Character: Gregor
Amazingly, the four-part droid arc was not a total loss. In Part 3, "Missing in Action," we meet Gregor, a former clone trooper now working as a dishwasher in Pons Ora, a sketchy town on Abafar. He has amnesia, having sustained a head wound in battle. He remembers nothing of his soldier past. Fortunately, he comes around in time to see that he has to help the droids and their leader, Colonel Meebur.
The Clone Wars series was pulled by Cartoon Network in March 2013. However, the production team already had 13 Season Six episodes in the can. These shows, dubbed The Lost Missions, were released first on German television in February 2014. Netflix released the shows to American and Canadian audiences in March of the same year. We're in the home stretch, folks.
Please visit my friend Andrew Leon today for his Season Five recap. Next Tuesday: "The Unknown."